The American Express Delta Reserve for Business Card is a great card for business owners and entrepreneurs who fly Delta Airlines often. It is the best Delta card for business travelers who want luxurious perks and airport lounge access.
Amex’s suite of Delta cards is undergoing some changes on January 30, 2020. These changes include both personal and business cards. And they range from improved earning structures to new benefits. The Delta Reserve for Business Card is receiving both positive and negative changes. One of the negative changes is an increase in the annual fee. On January 30, the annual fee will increase from $450 to $550. The new fee will match that of the personal American Express Platinum Card.
The Delta Reserve for Business does not have the best earning structure. And unfortunately, it will remain that way after January 2020. Delta’s top business card currently earns 2x SkyMiles per dollar on Delta purchases and one SkyMile for non-bonus spend.
Starting on January 30, 2020, the Delta Reserve for Business will earn 3x SkyMiles on Delta purchases and one SkyMile per dollar on non-bonus spend. The multiplier for non-bonus spend will increase to 1.5x after spending $150,000 per year on the card. The Reserve’s new earning structure is almost the same as the current one. And that is bad news for businesses who cannot spend $150,000 per year. This is unfortunate because the Delta Business Gold and Platinum Cards have better earning opportunities than the Delta Reserve.
Moreover, the Delta Reserve for Business Card comes with a sign-up bonus worth 40,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). It can be earned after spending $3,000 in the first three months. This bonus is easy to earn compared to those from many other business cards given its minimum spend threshold.
Miles Boost / Status Boost
The Delta Reserve for Business Card has access to the Delta Miles / Status Boost program, which lets you earn more points after spending $30,000. To be exact, you can earn 15,000 SkyMiles and 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $30,000. You can currently do this twice per calendar year. But after January 30, 2020, cardholders can repeat the process up to four times per calendar year. Therefore, you can receive up to 60,000 bonus MQMs.
You won’t be able to earn bonus redeemable miles after spending $30,000 or multiples thereof as of January 30. You can currently earn 15,000 bonus MQMs and 15,000 bonus redeemable miles at each threshold. Either way, I would not spend $30,000 with this card because you can spend it on other cards. You will otherwise prevent yourself from hitting sign-up bonuses and earning more valuable points and miles.
The Delta Reserve for Business Card gives you a few ways to redeem your SkyMiles.
The most obvious way to redeem Delta SkyMiles is for airfare. Miles can go a long way for airfare, but you need to do some research to get maximum value. This is because Delta does not have a rewards chart posted online.
Miles + Cash is a great option if you don’t have many miles or if you’re short a few miles for a certain redemption. Many co-branded cards have this option and it’s nice to see Delta have it too.
Delta also offers vacation packages that can be purchases with miles. This is nice for those who don’t want to do much research and planning for their next vacation. It’s also great for last-minute trips.
You can also use SkyMiles to upgrade your seat or even get membership to the Delta Sky Lounge. Gift cards and donations to charity are two other options for redemption.
The Delta Reserve for Business Card’s value truly lies in its perks. Most, if not all, of its hefty annual fee could be justified by using them. The Delta Reserve for Business gives you every perk Delta has to offer. And it’s the cream of the crop for Delta loyalists aside from the personal Delta Reserve.
Airport Lounge Access & Sky Club Passes
Complimentary airport lounge access is a common perk among premium credit cards. The Delta Reserve for Business Card is no exception as it offers complimentary Sky Club Lounge access. All you need is your card and boarding pass.
You will also receive two complimentary Sky Club passes each year in addition to complimentary lounge access. This is a great perk for additional guests who do not have Delta Sky Club Lounge access.
Furthermore, you will have access to Amex’s own Centurion Lounges if you are flying on Delta the same day you visit the lounge. This is a great perk that will be available on January 30, 2020. However, its redundant for American Express Platinum cardholders as they receive Centurion Lounge access too.
Annual Companion Certificate
This is another huge benefit offered with the Delta Reserve for Business Card. You will receive one complimentary Companion Certificate for a round-trip ticket in main class when you pay your annual fee. The certificate gives you the opportunity to fly someone else with you for free. It could be worth hundreds of dollars, depending on the flight and when you book your ticket.
The caveat is that you can only redeem the certificate at Delta.com. You cannot redeem it any other way. It will appear on your Delta.com account upon paying your annual fee.
You will also receive Baggage Insurance if you use your Delta Reserve for Business Card to book a flight, train ride, bus ride, or trip on a ship. This insurance kicks in if you lose your luggage while traveling on a common carrier. Coverage can be provided for up to $500 for checked baggage and $1,250 for carry-on baggage.
This perk is part of American Express’ larger revamping of card benefits.
This perk is a phone line that can help you with anything Delta-related from reservations to cancellations. Concierge service is a common perk among premium cards, but it’s rarely mentioned. Having a private phone line can help you bypass long waiting times for customer service.
Discount on In-Flight Purchases
You will receive 20% off in-flight purchases when you use your Delta card. This is nice for in-flight meals, entertainment, or other incidentals.
Free Checked Bags
Delta lets cardholders and up to eight other people in the same reservation check their first bags for free on any roundtrip flight. This perk can be worth around $60 per person if your bag complies. It can be very useful if you’re traveling with employees or a large group of people.
Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding
You may board your flight early with Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding. This perk is awesome because you can avoid traffic from the general public when boarding. Fewer people also makes it easier for you to find your seat and you get first choice of overhead storage bin space.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You can save 2.7% on all your international purchases because there are no forex fees.
Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurances
Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption insurances are coming to the Delta Reserve for Business in January 2020. Both will cover up to $10,000 per trip and up to $20,000 per year. Flight cancellations that happen due to weather, terrorist action, sudden illness or injury, and jury duty are included. Plus, only round-trip bookings are included. One-way tickets are not. Taxes and fees on award tickets or Pay With Points tickets are also covered.
Trip Delay Insurance
Trip Delay Insurance is another new benefit for the Delta Reserve for Business Card. American Express will reimburse you for the cost of your flight if it is delayed for a certain number of hours. The insurance covers round-trip flights only which are purchased fully with the card.
What if the Delta Reserve for Business Card is not right for you? Check out the following alternatives:
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred is quite different than the Delta Reserve for Business. It has a much lower annual fee of $95 (NOT waived the first year), a larger sign-up bonus, and a better earning structure.
The Ink Business Preferred comes with a sign-up bonus worth 80,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. You must spend $5,000 within the first three months to earn it. Furthermore, the Ink Business Preferred earns 3x UR points on the following categories:
- Cable & TV Services
- General Travel
- Internet Services
- Phone Services
- Social Media and Search Engine Advertising Purchases
There is a limit of $150,000 per year across all categories. That means you can earn up to 450,000 UR points per year if you spend within the categories. The Ink Business Preferred also earns just one point for non-bonus spend.
Moreover, the Ink Business Preferred comes with some nice benefits. Some of the best ones include Primary Car Rental Insurance, Cell Phone Insurance, and various other travel insurances.
The Ink Business Preferred is the better card for those who don’t want to spend more than $100 in annual fees. It’s also the better card for travelers who are not loyal to Delta or want more earning opportunities than perks.
American Express Business Platinum Card
The American Express Business Platinum Card is a great alternative for business travelers who want perks and are not loyal to Delta. This card has an annual fee of $595 (NOT waived the first year) and more universal travel benefits than any other card in the industry.
The Business Platinum Card earns 5x Membership Rewards (MR) points for travel from amextravel.com. Unfortunately, Delta flights booked with the airline do not count towards the 5x category. The Business Platinum Card also earns one MR for all non-bonus spend under $5,000. That multiplier increases to 1.5x for non-bonus spend over $5,000.
Furthermore, the Business Platinum Card is unrivaled in the way of perks. It offers Sky Club Lounge Access and access to a plethora of other airport lounges, including Centurion Lounges. The Business Platinum Card also offers status from two major hotel chains, hundreds of dollars of annual credits, and much more. However, many of these perks are frustrating and difficult to use. Your mileage may vary.
The Business Platinum Card is better for frequent business travelers who are not loyal to Delta. It’s also better for those who want more benefits than the Delta Reserve for Business has to offer. However, those who want to stock up on MQMs and SkyMiles would want the Delta Reserve for Business (or another Delta card).
The American Express Delta Reserve for Business Card is excellent for frequent Delta flyers who want the most from their Delta card. Its value lies in its perks and earning opportunities for big spenders. But this card’s biggest weakness is its earning structure, which sorely lacks in bonus categories outside of Delta purchases.
Nonetheless, this card is not for the average business traveler as there are better and less expensive options out there.
Apply Today: American Express Delta Reserve for Business Card